Fun Fact: Anastasia’s DIPBROW Pomade was my gateway product to makeup addiction. I learned a lot about skin care and makeup during a brief period of underemployment, and despite wanting all of the things, I had no choice but to exercise extreme restraint. When I drifted past a Sephora after receiving that first pay check in a while, I popped in and treated myself to ABH DIPBROW in Dark Brown.
Since I first started wearing makeup as a teenager, brows have been high on the agenda. I was lucky enough to inherit a good brow shape and even luckier to be lazy enough to shave them down to a thin line in the 90s (we all wanted to look like this) instead of plucking them away. I was luckier still that my brows didn’t vanish along with the trend. Even in the years of wearing very little makeup, I always filled in my brows.
Nowadays, I’m all but over DIPBROW, though I do reach for it from time to time. I’ve graduated to the Anastasia Brow Wiz, preferring its defined pencil point and the built-in spoolie. My one major, major gripe? I’ve repurchased the Brow Wiz three times, and the packaging of each one has fallen apart. The caps split and refuse to stay on the pencil, and the spoolies have popped out after the plastic securing them seemingly crumble to dust. I’m frankly annoyed that I’ve repurchased it more than once, but I can’t deny it: the brow pencil itself is perfect.
I’ve been on the hunt for a dupe — not necessarily to save money, but to find a product with comparable performance in packaging that lasts as long as the pencil does.
Is it really a dupe?
If you haven’t already noticed, Shoppers Drug Mart imposes a rather hefty markup on NYX products. I paid $14.99 for the Micro Brow Pencil in Espresso, but it’s only $12 on the NYX website. Aside from this annoying detail, the NYX Micro Brow Pencil earns major points for its shade range. What sets the ABH brow line apart from other brow products is their ability to serve warm, cool, and neutral tones of every hair colour, from blonde, to light brown, to red, to dark brown, to black. While NYX does better than most affordable brands here, I still find their Espresso shade to lean too warm for my taste.
You can see in the swatch image below that the ABH Brow Wiz in Dark Brown is a unique shade compared to the others. It’s a cool, deep brown, without leaning purple/grey like the Colourpop pencil. It’s the perfect colour for my brows.
Where packaging is concerned, I’m impressed. It’s almost identical to the Brow Wiz, with the exception of the variation in cap sizes. The spoolie cap is jusssssst shorter than the pencil cap, so you have to be careful about replacing them — putting the spoolie cap on the pencil side will smoosh the product. I haven’t noticed any kind of cracking in the plastic, so I’m confident that the caps will remain secure, along with the spoolie.
The texture and pigmentation of the NYX Micro Brow Pencil is good. It has a waxy consistency, which means it requires a bit more work to get the desired pigmentation, but it won’t move around or melt off of your face. It’s easy to brush the product through with the spoolie for an ultra natural look.
ABH Brow Wiz on the other hand, glides on effortlessly and is more pigmented without being too creamy. The consistency of this product is well-loved for a reason — it hits all the right points for a brow product: easy to apply, buildable, long-wearing.
My conclusion: The NYX Micro Brow Pencil is a respectable brow product that I enjoy using. Is it a dupe for the ABH Brow Wiz? In my opinion — close but no cigar. I happily use it because I have it, but it won’t replace the Brow Wiz.
When I first started this post, I had intended to compare the Brow Wiz to all of the other eyebrow definers I have: the Colourpop Black N’ Brown Pencil, the Sephora Collection Retractable Brow Pencil in Midnight Brown, and the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Dark Brunette. This post is getting long, however, so I’ll turn it into a series. Keep an eye out for these upcoming product comparisons! Colourpop is next.